I had never heard of Andy Warhol till the end of October 2017. This may surprise some people, but some others may go “Andy who??”. To the latter group, I say: welcome to my club (or former club). All of this came about while I was visiting Pittsburgh, PA (for the first time ever) for a wedding. Luckily for me, I have a friend who is a resident doctor in the city and she had some free time that weekend.
She asked me if I wanted to go to the Andy Warhol Museum. All I heard was ‘museum’ and as a lover of museums, I said yes without hesitating. Then I asked what the museum was about and she said it was an art museum about the guy who designed the Campbell’s Soup cans. I thought to myself – how boring. But a museum is a museum is a museum- and it was a rainy, cold, day. I had no better suggestions so off we went!
It’s a large museum- 7 floors; so I was excited to be getting good value for money. lol. We started at the top where it has some information about his early years. This was quite interesting to me as I like to learn about how famous people grew up, especially if it was a ‘normal’ upbringing like anybody else and to try to pinpoint the time when it all turned around for them.
Luckily for us, we happened upon a tour of the museum. I think they said it only happened once a month – and what luck that it was the day I visited there :). I was so glad we had that because we were told the highlights and some other tidbits that one may not find out- even if one painstakingly reads every single placard in the museum. We also had the ability to go back to any part of the museum at the conclusion of the tour which was neat.
I enjoyed the museum and I highly recommend it. Even if you are not the museum type or into art all that much I think it’s worth it. At least the Silver Cloud exhibit, my favorite.
Next, I wanted to visit the Nationality Rooms at the University of Pittsburgh, but they were already closed. My friend and I still went though- because she said some of the rooms, you could peek in through the windows. However, forget the rooms! The ‘lobby’ of that building was MAGNIFICENT. Had me thinking I was a student at Hogwarts! We walked around a little bit and decided there wasn’t much else to see as the nationality rooms were closed but if I am ever back in Pittsburgh, that will be on my list.
The next day, I decided I would go check out Randyland– because I had seen it on the list of things to do in Pittsburgh and because someone who attended the wedding said they recommend it. What they didn’t say though (and I will tell you because I am nice) is that it is very likely you won’t spend more than 15 minutes there- and that would be you stretching out your visit. Also, in a ‘sketch looking’ part of town. However, still worth it 🙂
I met Randy there. If I had known it was so rare to meet Randy there, I would have taken a picture (selfie) with him. Apparently, he loves to do that. Oh, and if you meet Randy there and he gets to chatting with you, that might stretch out your visit time :). He asked us where we were from, we said Nigeria and he seemed to think for a while and then said we could check his Welcome Wall. There might be a message from Nigeria there. In my mind, I highly doubted it but headed for the wall anyway.
Indeed there were greetings from all over the world, saying welcome in each language. I finally found Ghana and I was so excited that we had West African representation. I took so many pictures of it and was just about to leave when I saw the Nigeria one. Whaaaaaat?? LOL. So anyway, I screamed in excitement and took more pictures. That was the highlight of my visit. Randy suggested some other nearby tourist attractions and one of them was Bicycle Heaven- a museum for all things bicycles.
Off we went to the Bicycle Museum. The same wedding attendee had visited the Bicycle Museum as well and had nice things to say so I figured I’d check it out. Apparently, the bicycle Viola Davis rode in the movie Fences is in that museum. I wish I had had more time to spend there because I did not get to see the bike. Not that I knew what it looked like, or that I had seen Fences from beginning to end. But still … it would have been nice to get a picture of (and with?) it- at least for the gram ;).
It’s a huge place with bikes and bikes and more bikes. Some weird, some normal looking. My only con is that it looked like a lot of clutter to the ordinary eye. the place could do with some organization and maybe some plaques or directions to point you to the exciting exhibits they have. But if you have the time, it’s worth the visit- and it’s FREE. so heck yea!
I found Pittsburgh to be a pretty place and I’m glad I got to do some touristy things while I was there :). What other fun things have you done or would you recommend in Pittsburgh, PA?
And now, I know who Andy Warhol is. I saw that his work will be (or is already?) at the Grand Rapids Art Museum for a special exhibit. I just might make my way over there!
p.s. I found out how come I didn’t know who Andy Warhol is even though my friends learned about him in college. I went to college with one of said friends so it was an even bigger mystery to me. Apparently, the class she learned about him in was mandatory for those in the college of Arts and Sciences. Engineering students didn’t get so lucky 🙂